MONTAGUE COUNTY,TX (KAUZ) - This week's Hero of Texoma comes from Montague County.
Today, he serves his community as sheriff. Before that he spent six years serving his country.
His full name is synonymous with a hero in his hometown, Marshall Thomas.
"My two grandpas were World War II veterans and that's actually who I'm named after," Sheriff Marshall Thomas said.
His grandparents were named Marshall Maples and Earnest Wesley Thomas. Thomas' son was named after them as well, Marshall Thomas Jr.
Thomas signed up for the U.S. Army at 18-years-old in 1982.
"I signed up for four years as an armor specialist 19-Echo," Sheriff Thomas said.
He trained as a gunnery overseas in Germany. It was the Cold War era and he knew at any moment he needed to be prepared to fight.
"We knew what the risks were but at the same time, we're thinking it won't happen," Sheriff Thomas said. "I'm just glad it didn't'."
After serving four years in the Army, quickly moving up the ranks to sergeant, he continued his military career in the Gainsville National Guard Armory for two years.
Thomas worked his first case after a tank accidentally shot another.
"The company commander knew I wanted to go into law enforcement and I knew a whole lot about tanks and operation and all that," Sheriff Thomas said. "He asked me to be a part of the investigation."
Those skills helped Thomas achieve his dream of becoming a Texas DPS State Trooper, a Texas Ranger and a Sheriff in his hometown.
"The military [helps] just the experience, the discipline," Sheriff Thomas said. "It causes you to grow up in a hurry."
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